Deborah Ideiosepius's Reviews > The Deep End of the Ocean

The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard
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Sep 20, 11

Recommended for: Anyone who genuinely enjoys sickly sweet, badly written pap.
Read from August 28 to September 20, 2011

Well, obviously I did not like it.

The abstract is that a three year old boy child vanishes, while in the care of his mother and watched by his seven year old brother. Family torn apart, police search, ect ect. Nine years later the boy is found by accident. This is a scenario that should make for a great book, how could all those dynamic elements go wrong?

Here’s how;

The literary style is very poor; so much so that the subject matter is obscured by the sickly sentimental and poorly edited writing. After a couple of chapters one has to put it down for a while and go do something more mentally stimulating like scrub the bathroom.

The characters are poorly defined; three days after completing it I can barely remember any of the characters. The author spends a couple of paragraphs or pages defining someone and then ignores them utterly until one hundred pages latter they surface briefly at a Christmas party.
The exceptions to this are the female, Jewish, lesbian police officer who the author is clearly very fond of and who gives the author a chance to establish how regrettably middle class conservative and bigoted she is. I suspect that she thinks is demonstrating the opposite, she isn’t.

The main character for the first third of the novel is 'the mother' Beth. She is emotionaly superfical and deeply unlikable and consequently I was completely unable to bond with the character. Beth is phenomenally self centred, self absorbed and unwilling to give a shred of consideration to ANYONE else in her extended family or in any way admit that the lose of 'her' Ben may be affecting them too. She whinges her dysfunctional way through the novel until the last fifty pages, where she suddenly displays a bit of character and backbone which is by then, completely unbelievable. Beth is written as a deeply unsympathetic moron and I kind of wish someone would slap her heartily.

No other character is in any way convincing “the husband’ is two dimensional, ‘The rebellious son’ is a stereotype which gives the author yet another chance to prove her ability in stereotyping and her conservative opinions.

All in all, a travesty of a book. I regret the trees that were cut down to provide the paper. And I just noticed that the online book calls it “Cappadora family #1” you mean there are more of these? I think I can see the overall intelligence level of the planet visibly dropping.

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